Chapter 4 : Under A Paper Moon
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So, sadly school is starting up again :( and I'm now going to be super busy so I won't have as much time to write my story and update. Don't worry though, I'll work as fast as i can to get each chapter up in a decent amount of time. So don't forget to check up on this story every now and then.
Anyways, I don't own anything about Harry Potter. that's all JK Rowling's work, bless her.
And now, onto the story!
Chapter 4: Under A Paper Moon
Oh thank you Merlin, it’s only Lily. My heart, which had been beating so loud I figured it would burst out of my chest, slowed down to its normal rate again and my breath stopped coming in gasps. I leaned over until I could look down at my red headed cousin, who had a bemused expression for finding me outside at night in the middle of winter. In a tree.
“Can I join you?” Lily asked. She had her arms wrapped around her middle and seemed to be shivering from the cold. That’s when I was hit with a sudden blast of inspiration. I could tell Lily! She was safe, neutral territory. She wouldn’t tell Dom if I made her promise not to. Why didn’t I think about this before?
“Yeah, come on up.” Lily scrambled her way up the tree, not as gracefully as I had, so you know, until she was seated beside me in the fork of the branches. She breathed into her hands and rubbed them together to get feeling back in her fingers.
“So what’s up with you today?” She finally asked, her breath fogging around us. “Dom really wants to talk to you, but you seem to be avoiding her.” This was it, the moment of truth. All I had to do was tell Lily about how I felt and she would give me some amazing advice. Well, maybe not amazing. She is like two years younger than me. I really shouldn’t get my hopes up like that.
I was quiet for a moment while I tried to figure out the best way to tell her. It’s not every day I tell someone who I fancy. Actually, I don’t think I’ve ever told anyone when I like someone. It’s strange, considering I spend most of my time with Dom and Lily, who both feel no shame or embarrassment when they fancy someone and have been with so many guys they’ve lost count. It seems so natural that I would keep this to myself. Besides, the odds are Dom and Jay would break up in a month anyway.
Wait, I was going to tell Lily, remember? Ok, let’s do this thing. Deep breaths, just tell her already.
“The truth is,” I said, biting on my bottom lip nervously. This was a habit both Rose and I picked up from our mum. Whenever we were nervous or unsure of something, we would bite on our bottom lip as if it makes us feel better. I don’t really understand why, but I always do it. “I fancy Dom’s boyfriend!”
Lily looked slightly taken aback by my sudden outburst, but then she doubled over with laughter. “Ha! I knew it.” She said smugly and continued laughing. I could feel my cheeks grow warm and was glad it was dark so she couldn’t see me blushing.
How the hell did she know? “How the hell did you know?” I asked her. I never gave anyone a reason to think I like Jay; at least I thought I didn’t. No one’s ever said anything about it. And I've certainly never said anything about it. So how could she possibly have known I fancy him?
Lily chuckled and threw a friendly arm around my shoulder. “Oh please, how could I not know?” I raised an eyebrow. “Well, come on, you were all happy and acting normal, or as normal as you’ll ever get, until Dom told you her and Jay were going out. Then you got all weird and avoided her for the whole day! The only other possible explanation for your strange behavior is you had a serious case of gas or something.”
Only Lily would say something like that.
“You don’t think she suspects it, do you?”
“What that you have a bad case of gas?” Lily asked.
“No,” I snapped. “That I like Jay!”
“Oh,” Lily sniggered. “The only way she wouldn’t suspect it is if she was dead.” Lily must have seen my panicked look because she patted my arm comfortingly. “Honestly, Dom didn’t say anything about it, so it probably never crossed her mind.”
This made me sigh in relief. After this conversation, the last thing I want is for Dom to assume I like her boyfriend, which I in fact do. Beside me, Lily was still chuckling to herself, and I could feel my temper flare again. “What are you laughing at?” I snapped.
Lily grinned at me. “Isn’t it ironic? The one time you like a bloke and he happens to be your best friend’s boyfriend. That’s classic.” And again she burst into a fit of giggles. I had half a mind to push her out of the tree, but then I would be arrested for purposefully injuring a human being, no matter what the circumstances.
“Look Lily, can you please not tell Dom about this?” I asked her. “I don’t want to ruin her relationship because of some stupid crush.”
Lily nodded. “Sure thing Ry. Dom will never know about this. Now let’s go back inside; it’s freezing out here.” She got up and prepared to climb down from the tree. “Oh, and by the way, I think you and Jay would make a really cute couple.”
And at this, I couldn’t help but smile.
* * * *
The next few days between Christmas and New Years passed by without much excitement. I, surprisingly, spent most of my time at home and, even more surprisingly, haven’t gotten into a single argument with my parents. They’ve both been really chill since the last time I left home to stay at the Potter’s home. It’s been nice to be on good terms with them for a change.
While at home, I managed to finish some homework I had gotten over the break. I had put off a lot of essays and had some serious catch up to do. Luckily I had Rose to help me, being the studious person she was. So when she wasn’t spending time with Scorpius, (which wasn’t often) we would sit up in our room and work on homework for our classes at Hogwarts. I know, what a great way for sisters to bond.
Not only did I spend time with Rose, I also spent a lot of time with dad. He’s kind of been obsessed with the muggle TV mum had gotten him for his last birthday, so I sat with him on the couch and watched football (which admittedly was pretty interesting, though I will always prefer Quidditch). Hugo would watch with us too, so I guess I bonded with him a bit as well.
Even with all of this family bonding going on, I still couldn’t wait to go back to Hogwarts. I missed the castle and my friends and I just wanted things to be normal again, well as normal as things could be regarding how Dom was now dating Jay. I still haven’t talked to her since I found out, though she has tried to talk to me. She appeared in my fireplace the other day, but I wasn’t in the house at the time, thankfully taking one of my nightly walks around my neighborhood. It was a good time to think and clear my head. I still haven’t come up with a good excuse as to why I’m acting so strangely. I knew I couldn’t avoid Dom forever, but I didn’t want to talk to her until I had my story straight.
Every New Year’s Eve, the Potter’s through a party at their home that has always been the highlight of my winter holidays. It’s a lot like Christmas at the Burrow, but more fun. Everyone who is anyone will be there. Most of the adults get too drunk to care what we kids do. They didn’t even care that my cousins and I all had shots of Firewhiskey last year. I mean, they don’t remember giving us the bottle, and none of us are stupid to remind them of their mistake. (And I say mistake because that was the first time Fred and James ever got drunk. Now every party they throw at Hogwarts includes punch and spiked with some sort of alcohol.)
This year, however, I was absolutely dreading the New Year’s Eve party. You ask why? Well one, Dom will be there, and two, so will Jay. (I know this because Lily sent me a letter to warn me that Al invited him, you know, because they’re like best friends.) So now there will be two people whom I really don’t want to talk to at the party. Just lovely.
I got to the Potter’s place at around eight on New Year’s Eve via floo powder, and on first inspection, I did not spot either Dom or her boyfriend. I did, however, spot Al, Lily, and some other girl I’m positive I’ve seen before, standing off to the side of the living room. I made my way through the crowd of people already in the room towards them.
Most of the guests, I assumed, worked at the Ministry or had played Quidditch professionally at one point. Uncle Harry and Aunt Ginny were currently shaking hands with Ernie McMillan, who worked in the same department as mum in the Ministry, and Michael Corner, who I knew because I had often heard dad call him a wanker every time his name appeared in the Daily Prophet. Aunt Ginny’s smile was very strained when she talked to him and they both looked rather awkward being in each other’s company.
Al and Lily both greeted me with a chorus of ‘Riley!’, when I got to them, and the girl gave me a friendly smile. Ok, I am now positive I’ve seen this girl before. I think I might have potions class with her. She was a petite, pretty girl, the type that makes us average looking girls uglier than we already are, and I could instantly tell she was the type of person who was always happy You know what I’m talking about. They’re the people who smile no matter what and always have nice things to say even when others are complete arseholes to them. Yeah, I could tell she was that type of person.
“This is Gaby Miller, my girlfriend.” Al said wrapping his arm around the girl’s waist. “She’s in our year, but in Ravenclaw.” Al’s brown eyes were warm as he looked down at the girl beside him.
“I think we have potions class together.” I said, and Gaby’s blue eyes lit up as if she was pleased that I recognized her. “Since when have you two been going out?”
Gaby tugged on a piece of her shiny black hair. “Al asked me out just before break.” She had a quiet voice that matched her petite form. Al was a whole head taller than she was, but they did look cute together.
“Hey Jay!” Al called waving an arm over his head. From the crowd came two people, the very two people I had been hoping to avoid. On normal circumstances, I would be very happy to be at a party with Jay, but it was hard to feel like that now when he was walking hand in hand with Dom.
Jay was, as always, completely gorgeous. His chocolate brown hair was at the perfect length where it wasn’t too short or too long and fell perfectly around his face. His eyes were the usual icy blue and when they looked at me I couldn’t look away. When he smiled at me, I smiled back and tried my hardest not to blush. Jay always was able to make me blush. I’ve known Jay Soares since my first year at Hogwarts. Not only was he Al’s best friend along with Malfoy, but he was also the Gryffindor keeper on the Quidditch team. His body was a nice sight to look at, being finely toned from all the Quidditch practices over the years. Jay was just over all good looking, and I felt the burning sense of jealousy when I saw him and Dom holding hands.
“So this is Gaby,” Jay said. He gave Al’s girlfriend a charming smile and reached out to shake her hand. “Al’s told me all abut you. I’m Jay.” Gaby smiled back as she shook his hand. Jay then turned to me and Lily and gave us both hugs, which made my body whole body tingle. “Hey Lily, hey Riley,”
“Hullo Jay,” Lily and I said at the same time. I peered around him at Dom, who was looking at me curiously as if expecting me to run away from her again. “Eh, hey Dom.”
“Oh, are you talking to me again?” She asked and crossed her arms over her chest. I saw Al and Jay exchange confused looks, seeing as Dom and I hardly ever fight, and Gaby was just watching us with wide eyes. I blanched slightly and looked at Lily for help. She met my eye and nodded unobtrusively.
“Well, as much fun as this has been, Riley and I are going to leave couple land and go to the kitchen.” Lily said. She grabbed my elbow and pulled me behind her and out of the living room. What a wonderful cousin. What a wonderful, redheaded, lifesaving-
I threw my arm out in front of Lily to stop her before we went into the kitchen. I pressed my finger to my lips to signal that she should be quiet. I could hear voices.
“I don’t know about this Scorp.” It was Rose and Malfoy. From the way Rose’s voice was hushed, I knew she didn’t want to be overheard, and she was nervous about something.
I moved closer to the entryway of the kitchen and listened harder. I wasn’t a fan of eavesdropping, but when there’s an opportunity like this to listen in on my sister and her boyfriend, I wasn’t about to pass it up. I could hear Lily breathing quietly beside me and I knew she was listening hard too.
“Why not?” Malfoy sounded slightly impatient. “Now’s our chance, no one will even know.”
“Someone might catch us.”
“They’ll all be too drunk to realize we’re gone.”
“What about Al? He’s your best mate. He’ll notice if we aren’t around.”
“He’ll assume we’re off snogging. And Gaby’s here to keep him occupied. ”
There was a long pause, and then Rose finally gave in. “Ok, let’s do it.” Malfoy said something then, but he said it so quietly that I didn’t hear. There was an even longer pause, and when neither of them said anything more, I decided their conversation was over. I straightened up and walked into the kitchen, with Lily following close behind me. Rose and Malfoy, who had been snogging passionately, broke apart when they saw us.
“Do you mind?” Rose snapped at me, blushing furiously. She grabbed Malfoy’s hand and dragged him out of the kitchen.
“What was all that about?” Lily asked me once we were alone.
I shrugged. “Either their planning on getting drunk or their going somewhere.” I was surprised though; Rose wasn’t the type of person that would do anything if it was against her morals or anything that would include breaking any rules. If she had her doubts, it was very unlikely for her to do anything that could have some sort of consequence. She was a goody two-shoes, as opposed to Malfoy, who couldn’t care less if he got into trouble. They were an odd couple, but as they say, opposites attract.
I didn’t really have time to wonder what Rose and her Slytherin boyfriend were up to, because a Jay-less Dom chose that moment to waltz into the kitchen. We locked eyes for a moment, and I knew it was time. She wanted to talk.
“Riley, can I talk to you for a minute?”
I honestly wanted to say no. I didn’t want to talk. What I wanted was for Dom to have forgotten everything that had happened since Christmas, so that we could be friends like we used to be. I wish I knew how to use that memory charm, but Professor Flitwick wouldn’t teach us that spell until seventh year. That damn midget. No other spells would be useful in this situation!
I sighed heavily. Since I haven’t come up with a good story yet, I might as well play stupid. “Sure Dom, what’s up?” Dom’s eyebrows rose at my casual response, and she gave me a scathing look. This was not going to be a fun talk.
“Lily can you give us a moment?” She finally said. Her voice was like ice. Lily, who had been watching us with a rather amused expression, walked slowly out of the kitchen.
“Sure thing Dom.” From the way she left without complaint, I had no doubt she would be eavesdropping on us.
Once we were alone (or appeared to be alone) Dom cleared her throat slightly and turned her piercing blue eyes on me. “What the hell is going on with you?” Yup, that’s how she started this conversation. Why beat around the bush when you can be blunt and to the point like Dom is?
Over the many years that I have known Dominique Weasley, we have hardly ever fought. Sure, we’ve had our petty arguments and all, but we’ve never gone more than a week without talking to each other. Usually one of us starts to feel bad if we’re too cold to the other and end up apologizing with no explanations needed. I had a feeling that this wasn’t exactly going to go as those past fights.
“What do you mean?” I was sticking to my plan to play stupid. Unfortunately, Dom saw right through me.
“You know what I mean!” She snapped. “Why have you been avoiding me?”
“I have not been avoiding you.” I said sounding offended. I crossed my arms over my chest and leaned back against the kitchen counter. Dom sighed and placed her hands on her hips. She looked so much like Aunt Fleur when she did that I had to double check to make sure the part-human-part-Veela standing in front of me was a teenager. She was staring right at me, but I avoided her gaze, looking instead at the sea view out the window above the sink. The waves were lapping lazily at the shore and I felt the serenity of this place and I could understand why the Potter’s had wanted to live here.
“Oh please,” Dom said. She started pacing across the floor and using hand motions while she talked. “Everything was fine when we got home from Hogwarts, but then you were so cold to me during Christmas. Can you just tell me what I did so that I can apologize already?”
Even though I couldn’t tell Dom the real reason I was mad at her, I still felt guilty when I realized I was hurting her just like she was hurting me. It’s not like she intentionally went out with Jay just to piss me off. It wasn’t fair for me to hurt her when I was the only one (not including Lily) who really knew what was going on. I needed to tell her something, something to ease her mind and make sure she never suspects that I fancy her boyfriend. But what?
That’s when it hit me. It was so obvious I couldn’t believe it took me this long to think of it.
Riley Weasley, you are a true genius.
“Look Dom,” I said after about a minute of quick thinking. I met her gaze and forced myself not to look away. Eye contact was essential if you want someone to believe you aren’t lying. I laced my fingers together and tried to stand completely still so I wouldn’t fidget. “The truth is, I’m- I’m jealous.”
I bet you didn’t see that one coming.
“Jealous? Of what?” Dom looked completely taken aback by my confession. She was so sure I’d blame her for doing something. Not this time Dommie.
“Of your new relationship,” That was pretty close to the truth. “I mean, you’re always dating someone, Lily always has admirers, James has a new girlfriend every week, Al has Gaby now, and even Rose has a boyfriend.” All of this came out really fast and I realized exactly how alone I was. I haven’t had a boyfriend since fourth year, and even that relationship wasn’t anything to be proud of. No guy has even asked me to Hogsmeade before. Was I really that unattractive?
“Riley,” Dom said in exasperation. Her expression had softened and she closed the distance between us and pulled me into a tight hug. “There’s nothing wrong with being single.”
“Easy for you to say,” My words were muffled by Dom’s shoulder. “You’ve been in so many relationships you can actually appreciate being alone.”
Dom laughed her musical laugh and her eyes twinkled mischievously. “When we get back to Hogwarts, I’ll set you up with someone.” I nodded agreement, not because I wanted to be set up, but because I wanted this conversation to be over. Sure, I was glad I got out of this alive and with Dom still having no clue as to why I had actually been avoiding her, but I didn’t want to talk about relationships anymore. A part of me really was jealous of Dom, and Al, and Rose, and everyone else that was happily in a relationship. It’s been so long since I’ve dated that I wanted to be with someone that made me happy, too. Unfortunately, that someone happened to be Jay, who was, also unfortunately, dating my cousin.
Who was also unfortunately walking into the kitchen right now.
Who was also unfortunately wearing the guilty expression of someone who has heard every word we’ve just said.
I can never win.
I'm kind of disappointed with how I ended this chapter, but i decided to save what happens next for chapter 5. Hopefully you all like it better than I did.
So, Scorpius and Rose are up to something. Dom and Riley are friends again. Jay was a witness to Riley's confession of being jealous and alone! I hope you all stick around to find out what happens next!
And as always...REVIEW! :D
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